— A Florida mom awoke to hear rustling on the baby monitor linked to her 3-year-old son's room, then walked down a dark hall at 2 a.m. to find a strange man carrying the boy out of his room.
Teresa Nguyen, 32, of Land O' Lakes, said the intruder instantly dropped little Matthew, who then began crying. The man then shoved Nguyen into a wall and fled, escaping through a sliding glass door and jumping over their family's property fence.
"I think I scared him as much as he scared me," Teresa Nguyen said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.
The mom of four had initially thought little of it when she heard noise on the monitor early Wednesday. She figured her boy just got up to go to the bathroom, but got up to check on him anyway. That's when she found herself face to face with the intruder.
After discovering the man, Nguyen yelled for her husband, Phu, who frantically called 911. Pasco County sheriff's deputies searched the neighborhood with police dogs and had a helicopter canvass the area, which is about 15 miles from Tampa.
Phu Nguyen also set into motion a phone tree set up by a neighborhood organization, alerting neighbors about what happened. One neighbor who happened to be awake said he saw a man running through the Nguyens' fenced back yard.
Neighbors were asked by police to stay in their homes, so that the police dogs wouldn't be thrown off by a multitude of scents.
Sliding Through In the Night
The intruder apparently had broke in to the Nguyen home through a sliding glass door in the dining room, and left it ajar while he went to snatch young Matthew. The baby monitor was hidden between two stuffed animals so that its green light wouldn't bother Matthew — and apparently the intruder didn't see it.
Teresa Nguyen, with help from Matthew, was able to give police a description of the intruder: a white male, about 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-9 with a medium to heavy build. He was last seen wearing dark clothes and dark athletic shoes.
The Nguyens say they don't plan on moving, even though their sense of safety is now gone. The couple has installed an alarm system and they have helped to set up a new neighborhood community patrol.
"Our neighbors are on the alert and we all hope we can catch this guy before he gets someone else and succeeds at a kidnapping," Phu Nguyen said.